Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Friday, April 1, 2011
Monday, March 28, 2011
Friday, March 25, 2011
The group in the picture up above just left and wow oh wow - was it ever a busy week, but we're all excited to see what was accomplished in the short time that they were here. We partner with another ministry called "SSE" (Self-Sustaining Enterprises) and this group in their home church in Ohio partner with SSE so we all worked together with a common purpose. SSE tries to bring small businesses for the people in the village to help them become self-sustaining. These Christians came with monies to help with two projects. The first one is the picture below. An old storage shed on our OCC property was converted into a chicken coop and one of the men from the village was trained in caring for the chickens and in a few months these once baby chicks (they are now almost two months old) will be sold to restaurants and to private companies for them to use and the monies will go back into the ministry for more chickens and hopefully this will expand and other villagers can start their own chicken businesses. Solomon, the young man now caring for the chickens is very very excited to be a part of this new venture. He told another B2B staffer that he recently woke up in the middle of the night really "happy." He now has a vision and a hope.
The last thing the team did was build a plastic covering over the entire table which still allows the sun to get in but will keep rains from hurting the crops. A solar panel was purchased which will charge the battery which is used to power the three pumps that aireates the water and recirculates the water through the vegetation. Many people helped in this week's building of the aquaponics and some days there were several people from the village watching and hoping, I'm sure, that this might help their economy and families. We sure would appreciate your prayers toward this end. It's time for the people in Kisayhip Village to have a future and a hope!!
Monday, March 21, 2011
The above picture is the "before" picture of the borehole that was recently drilled in the Kisayhip Village on the village Doctor's compound and the picture below is the "after" picture from yesterday afternoon's dedication of the borehole. The man in the orange Nigerian dress is the Chairman of the village and he said a few words during the ceremony, as well as Pastor
Dauda who gave the opening prayer.
These women to the left are some of the widows from the Catholic Church in the village. The dresses they are wearing were part of the Widow Outreach we had a few weeks back where we measured the widows in the village (around 38 of them) and had an outfit made for each of them. They just received the dresses this past week so it was fun to see them wearing them yesterday. At the dedication ceremony, these widows sang a couple of songs which was a pleasant surprise since we weren't expecting it.
This last picture up above is of some bouganvallia (I think this is mispelled) that is right outside our apartment (we're to the left - and Corrie and John are to the right). A year ago when we came these weren't here - see how quickly they have grown. And they bloom in the dry season, which I've never understood. They require very little water, which I also don't understand. These flowers are all over Nigeria and the colors are rose, bright pink, orange, white and red. They're absolutely beautiful. God shows His creation in such amazing ways!!
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Yep! Here are "my" rocks once again. I just wanted to let you all know that because of the team being here, I might not be blogging for a few days. So, in the meantime, thought you could all look at (Okay, they're His rocks!) God's rocks again and think about how blessed you each are and how much you have to be thankful for. Especially with what's going on in Japan, we should really be seeking the Lord for ourselves and our families.
But, before I sign off, I do want to say how very very thankful Crist and I are for our family - Kelley, Chris, Phillip, Joshua, & Gabe Lett, Crist, Cheryl and Henry, Brock, Claire, Seth, Colette, Corinne and Camille Hamilton, Corrie, John, Sarah, Gus & Sami Guckenberger and Jodi, Heath, Lydia, Noah and Allie Caddell. You are all held deeply in our hearts, and Dad and I love each of you for who you are and we are so thankful for the Lord's hands in your lives!! You are special, special, special to us!
"And Father, we pray for the people of Japan. We pray that through all the devastation the Japanese are experiencing now; through the heartache and pain, that You will show Yourself Mighty and Strong - their Healer, their Comforter and their Redeemer. Amen"
Eileen and Crist
(and for that special someone who wanted their name mentioned - there it is!! grin - see you soon!)
I'm not even sure we were close to winning! Theresa won that honor - I guess we're not as observant as we should be. grin
"A time to keep and a time to throw away." Ecc. 3:6b
Monday, March 14, 2011
I actually enjoy every few days getting on the computer and blogging to all of you. We download any and all the pictures we've taken and then we resize them so they can fit the blog and then I look at the pictures and think of something "clever" and "witty" (grin) to write so that you can better understand what we're doing here in Jos, Nigeria. But.....I am finding myself in a dilemma this afternoon. The last few ministry events or places we have gone, we didn't remember to bring our camera. So.....just so you know......these two pictures are all that we have left in our picture folder. This is IT folks! So, now I have to say something about these mud blocks in the picture below. Nigerians build their huts and/or their block homes in two ways. The more expensive way is by making and using concrete blocks. Our little bungalow and Corrie and John's house are made with concrete blocks. For some reason, and we're not sure why, the price of concrete has gone up considerably in the last few months, so we are seeing more and more people (especially in the villages) making their own mud blocks - which essentially is mixing water with the dirt in the backyard and adding a little bit of straw and then cutting out the squares and letting them dry in this dry heat. From what we're told, these mud bricks last for quite a while - even during the rainy season (which I don't understand at all how they just don't dissolve in the rain). This last picture in our picture folder is of the new borehole at the Doctor's Compound. Because of expenses, only a pump handle will be available for getting the water (as opposed to a spigot type). But everyone in this part of the village is very excited to have this clean water source now. Since this is the end of the dry season, many wells are beginning to run dry and now they have clean water that we hope and pray won't run dry.
Saturday, March 12, 2011
Recently we received donations from the states of several pairs of used soccer shoes/cleats. Many in the Bible Study also are part of the village football (soccer) team and after Bible Study this past Tuesday, Will allowed those who are on the football team to look and see if they could find a pair of shoes that would fit them. It was like watching "kids in a candy store." There were smiles and laughter everywhere and each would hold up their feet to show the others their
newfound treasures. This is such a "little" thing to those of us from the U.S., but to these young men it was truly like a gift from God.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
From the moment we set foot on Nigerian soil, there have been children all around us. For some of the littlest ones, they have cried when they first saw us because they had never seen a baturi (white person) before.
Monday, March 7, 2011
I've shared with you many times about how much I love the Nigerian dresses that the women wear. I love the colors and patterns in the fabrics. I would venture to guess that probably 75% of all Nigerian women, go to the material huts in the market and purchase their material and then take the fabric to a dressmaker who then makes their dresses. Included with your dress will always come a large swatch of material that is used for the headwraps that probably 95% of all women wear almost all the time. On Sundays to church, I will wear a headwrap and by the time the service is over, it feels like my head is ready to explode and it always itches for some reason. I'm just not used to wearing something close to my head that way. But to the Nigerian woman, it is very very natural and comfortable.
In the United States, we've become used to wearing alot of solid colors and some flowery prints for a summer dress - but rarely do we wear a dress that is BOLD with all types of abstract designs. Not so here. Even women with a larger frame (that's me folks! - grin) wear these wild patterns and they look beautiful. I'm not brave enough to do it - my loss!!
Friday, March 4, 2011
This afternoon, Crist and I were invited to be a part of a "good-bye" lunch for Corrie and Sami given by the third grade mothers. Sami is in 3rd Grade and this group of moms are very close knit and supportive of one another. Everyone brought something to eat and it was all so good!! This first picture shows the moms (and me - the Grandma!). There are 19 children in the class and with all their siblings present to eat, it seemed like there were 30 children running around.
There's our daughter, Corrie (in the white sweater), in the picture below with many of the moms. These pictures are unusual in the fact that every other time I've seen these woman they are ALWAYS beautifully dressed in Nigerian clothes, but this morning at Hillcrest, was a "Field Day" for the children so all the moms were encouraged to wear very comfortable clothes because everyone was helping with this fun day at the school. I enjoyed seeing the women in this informal setting. You know.....when you get a group of women together, regardless of nationality, there's always plenty to talk about. I know that Corrie will miss these women alot. I've always thought that I'm kind of tall compared to many women, but when I look at that first picture, yikes! I look short, don't I compared to the Nigerian women around me. I bet I've shrunk some as I'm getting older, huh? grin
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
I can't be at the rocks today, but I needed to see them anyway because they bring tranquility to my soul and I figured you would like to see them again anyway - grin! These days, Crist and I are both feeling such mixed emotions. We'll be leaving in five weeks and I have to be honest with you - we're very excited about returning home to our friends and family and the familiar. But, we're leaving behind wonderful new friends, a growing, busy ministry and a land filled with hidden beauty and beautiful skies.
Let me share with you some of the things we're going to miss when we leave:
- Who would have thought that we'd miss one day big boulders/rocks? But we will!
- I'm going to miss the twenty or thirty little lizards that live around our apartment. They're just so cute with all the different colors on their bodies.
- We're going to miss all of the B2B staff that have begun to feel like "family" to us. What a great group of people God has assembled here to do His work in Nigeria.
- I'm going to miss the six months of almost perfect weather - not a cloud in the sky - and gentle breezes and sometimes not so gentle breezes.
- We're going to miss seeing cattle grazing alongside the roads and sometimes even in the roads!
- I'm going to miss Kenny, Joe, Daniel, Hope, Suzanne, Ochachee, Lucky, Esther, Abigail, Claire and all the caregivers at OLA. They will all remain in our prayers.
- Our ECWA Village Church and the women singing each Sunday, and the drums and joy as they worship.
- I will miss the BEAUTIFUL, colorful clothing that the women wear each day.
- I will miss the quiet evenings with Crist - every evening! A wonderful, slower pace.
- The filled streets and markets and the peacefulness of the village at dusk when people are out cooking and fellowshipping with one another.
- We will miss have Corrie and John, Sarah, Gus and Sami living five feet from us - we really will!
- All the village children - each and every one of them.
I feel like I could go on and on with this list. God is blessing us here in Nigeria......but we're excited to be going home! Such a contrast of emotions.
Eileen and Crist
"Lord, if Your presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from this place." Exodus 33:15
Sunday, February 27, 2011
This past week everyone on staff met on Wednesday at the Oasis Center and had a good old fashioned Work Day. Over the past several months, donations from teams that have come from the states, as well as things brought over on a container, have begun to stack up and no one knew where anything was anymore. We wanted to "start from scratch" and take almost everything out and then put it all back into the rooms - only this time organized, straightend up and labeled. In the picture above is Emilee and Solomon and Emmanuel. Solomon and Emmanuel work for B2B and they are such assets to the ministry (and hard workers too!).
And here is Corrie (three or four of us ladies were sorting outside through all the clothing and stacking the clothes according to gender) sorting through the donations. People from the states have been so generous in their giving and we know in the months ahead much of this clothing will be given away.
We broke for lunch and all ate together and then went back to work. We finished everything that was on the list to do and all returned home weary but happy to see everything back in order once again.
But the principle is the same, isn't it? We need to take the time and purposefully sort through all the "stuff" in our lives and prioritize, clean out and throw away so our "house/hearts" will be clean before the Lord.